TOKYO - With DaimlerChrysler transferee Rolf Eckrodt set to become CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. in June, cooperation in commercial vehicles between the German-American and Japanese carmakers is poised to get into gear.
That's because Eckrodt, who turns 60 in June, joined Mitsubishi from DaimlerChrysler in January 2001 as COO of car operations only. Both he and Takashi Usami, COO for truck operations, reported to President Takashi Sonobe, who will become chairman in June.
But as CEO, Eckrodt will oversee both light vehicles and commercial trucks, bringing a unified corporate view to any cooperation talks with DaimlerChrysler.
Mitsubishi and DaimlerChrysler, which owns a 37.3 percent stake in Mitsubishi, are still "exploring possibilities and opportunities" in trucks, Sonobe said at a press conference last month announcing Eckrodt's promotion.
There is a chance that Mitsubishi could spin off its truck operations, perhaps selling a minority stake in the new company to the public to raise cash, although analysts don't expect that to happen soon.